Low cost, eco-friendly, and easily scaled-up processes are needed to fabricate efficient oil/water separation materials, especially those useful in harsh environments such as highly acidic, alkaline, and salty environments, to deal with serious oil spills and industrial organic pollutants. Herein, a highly efficient oil/water separation mesh with durable chemical stability was fabricated by simply scratching and pricking a conventional polyethylene (PE) film. Multiscaled morphologies were obtained by this scratching and pricking process and provided the mesh with a special wettability performance termed superhydrophobicity, superoleophilicity, and low water adhesion, while the inert chemical properties of PE delivered chemical etching resistance to the fabricated mesh. In addition to a highly efficient oil/corrosive liquid separation, the fabricated PE mesh was also reusable and exhibited ultrafast oil/water separation solely by gravity. The easy operation, chemical durability, reusability, and efficiency of the novel PE mesh give it high potential for use in industrial and consumer applications.
- Complex environment
- Oil/water separation